Age of Empires II slow frame rates

One of my favourite games is Age of Empires II, which was re-released on Steam a few years ago with an expansion pack and changes to make it work on new systems.

For some reason, the game wouldn’t play properly on the Windows machine which I keep around purely for gaming (I use Xubuntu as my everyday operating system, and have done for at least 5 years now). It would start without any problems, but the gameplay would be choppy, as if the rendering was struggling to catch up with the rest of the game. Lots of people had reported similar problems, and my gaming machine far exceeds the minimum requirements. Oddly, the game would play without any problems using Proton under Linux

In the end, the solution was to turn off two options: Antialias object shadows and Render 3D Water. I’m not sure exactly what these options do, because I couldn’t notice any difference in the graphics before or after, but disabling them returned the frame rate to an acceptable level.


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